We All Have Automatic Thoughts…. Let’s Interrupt Them

January 12, 2023

This podcast is for you, if you love, serve and teach and lead others, you want things to keep getting better. You want encouragement. And just one little idea today to get stronger in your life, your relationships or your work. I help people take control of their current situation and have power to do what they need to do in the future as well. This is Bethanie Hansen, and I'm your host on Mindset for Life. Thanks for joining me today.
Today we're going to talk about automatic thoughts.
Automatic thoughts are an interesting thing that can help you or hurt you. The weird thing is they sound like us.

In fact, we have these thoughts come into our mind, and we don't even question them, we just assume that that's how the world works. And we think about them all the time.

Every once in a while, I'll notice a person specifically saying, "Well, that's just how people are," or, "That's just how big organizations are."

Or, "That's what people think these days." Any kind of comment like that reveals some kind of automatic thought or assumption about the way people or the world or organizations work.

Do you have thoughts like that? Do you ever think about your thoughts? You know, if you notice yourself thinking something, and you pause, kind of step aside from yourself a minute and think objectively about what you're thinking, then you're doing this skill that I really love, and I think is super helpful to us all.

And that is thinking about your thinking. Now, some of the thoughts I have, I don't realize I'm having them until I stop and I tell someone else what I'm thinking. And suddenly, it'll be really obvious and really shocking that I've been thinking a certain way. And some of those thoughts that work for me and don't work for me.

I like to write down and keep track of and remember.
We can do things we've never done before.
One thought is that I can learn how to do something difficult that I've never done before. I may not be perfect at it. I may not win prizes for it. But I'm fully capable of learning something new that I haven't done before. I mean, after all, I've been doing that my whole life, haven't you?

When you were a baby, you didn't know how to crawl, and you learned how to do that. And when you were a toddler, you learned how to walk. And you didn't know how to do that before either. Some people, some people even learned how to drive cars and got driver's licenses. And that was something you had never done before. Till you started driving. So there are a lot of things in the past that prove it's true, we can learn something new that we've never done before.

All of us can. I think that way, when I'm presented with something new that I'd like to figure out, or I'd like to become fluent in doing. And like I said, it doesn't mean we're going to be masters of it. But at least we can learn something new we've never done before.

Learning to notice and recognize automatic thoughts is that same kind of thing. Now, whatever you're facing in life, whatever challenges you're up against or experiencing, whether it's in your own self or in your relationships with other people, or in your circumstances, chances are you have some thoughts about those things that are very clear to you.
The brain automates some thoughts to help us.
And some that are a little bit hidden. I would call those the automatic thoughts.

There's this thing about the brain that I've learned a lot about in the last few years. Some people call it neuroscience. Some people just call it talking about the brain, whatever you prefer, we're going to talk about your brain for just a minute here.

Now your brain is totally in favor of protecting you, helping you and making your life efficient.

So there are these parts of the brain that feed us thoughts and ideas that we have stored in there at some point. And these things come out at the most inopportune times, and they might be in the form of automatic thoughts.